So many times we are asked to give, then expected to keep going though we’ve grown weary and worn. As a caregiver and mom there were times the weight of carrying that kind of load seemed so heavy. Yet what do you do, you must keep going.
Many times I found myself trying to juggle being an only parent with running errands for my parents and falling short of getting everything done. Many times I’d go to bed and lie awake thinking of all the things I didn’t get done, couldn’t do and couldn’t afford.
You can wear yourself out taking care of others and everything that you know needs to get taken care of, but if you don’t take time to rest and take care of yourself, then you will suffer emotionally, physically, even mentally.
So it became that it was in the darkest moments that I sought solitude. Alone, I could meditate and pray for strength, sit under the moonlight, feel the cool night air. Meditation has been my saving grace in so many ways. I was taught to meditate by an Indian woman when I was 10 years old.
She noticed right away I was a very visual person. She taught me that when life becomes too heavy, you meditate, focus and see the darkness like liquid smoke, surrounding you, then let it begin to turn to liquid running down and seeping into the earth at your feet until you no longer feel the burden.
I also learned to meditate by walking and when I had Nacona – my malamute – we would walk about 12 miles a night. Exercise and especially walking is a terrific way to relieve stress and do some mobile meditation. I learned to see my troubles left like wet foot prints on the pavement behind me as I walked. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m just stating a few things that have worked for me.
Now days I look back and see how much I missed by trying to be so many things to so many people. I should have been taking more time for myself, it would have benefited both me and my kids. They say hindsight is 20/20, I am not sure about that, but I will try to help my children not to make the same mistakes.
Caregivers, mentors, and parents are the heart of the world, trying hard to hold the balance, keep the peace and make sure nothing is forgotten. Yet the one thing we seem to forget is ourselves, then later when the job is finally done there are regrets in some ways and a lot of ground to make up in others. There is a period of feeling lost, like you’re coming out of a dark tunnel into the daylight and suddenly you have to adjust your eyes and try to figure out where you are.
I have learned to tell myself that I did the best I could with the information and resources I had at the time. I didn’t always succeed, I wasn’t always right, I’m not the perfect parent, I did fail now and then, I missed out a lot, but still, I did my best as far as it goes. I’m good with that. Now on to the next phase of the journey, but where do I start? Ah, yes….meditation.
Cherry Coley ©